2017 Proposed Topics

(Subject to change.  C=Confirmed Speaker ; I=Invited Speaker, not confirmed) Updated 6/21/17


Smart Phone Storytelling Video Production Workshop

(Fee: $195/pp for first 20 participants, $295 after.  Registration required.  Limited attendance, first come, first served. Open to eTourism Summit DMO/supplier attendees.Click here to register.

Tentative Schedule:

9:00-10:00 am: Orientation and Groups, each of which will be assigned to create a 60-90 second  video based on one of three itineraries in San Francisco.

10:00 am-12:00 pm: Shooting your smartphone video while touring iconic San Francisco sites.

12:30-2:00 pm: Lunch (location TBA)

2:00-4:00 pm:  Turning rough footage into video, editing tips and tricks to make your video work.

4:00-5:00 pm: Show and Tell for each group to present their videos.

Leaders: Ryan Thompson, CEO, MakeStoriesHuman.com (i); others TBA

VIP Day for CMOs and CEOs

(Fee: $195/pp.  Registration required.  Limited attendance, first come, first served. Open to eTourism Summit DMO/supplier attendees who are CMOs or CEOs. Click here to register.) 

Tentative Schedule: (approximate times: 9:00 am – 6:00 pm)

What Does Google See for the Future of Travel? A chance for senior marketing executives to ask questions and enter into a discussion with a member of Google’s travel vertical team with a strong understanding of DMO’s. Presenter: Kyle Duffy, Senior Lead – Travel, Google

What Lies Ahead? A discussion about the future of digital marketing from one of technology’s brightest stars, Brian Solis, Principal Analyst, Altimeter Group. Brian, among “The Top 10 People to Know in Silicon Valley”, was awarded “Blogger of the Year” by PR News and one of eight “Influential Leaders” by CRM Magazine in 2010. He is a LInkedIn Influencer and the author of several future of business books. He is regularly quoted by media outlets such as The New York Times, Washington Post, AdAge, The Guardian, and Wall Street Journal. And he is followed by over 280K on Twitter. Presenter: Brian Solis, Principal Analyst, Altimeter Group (i)

How to Manage Millennials. Attracting, retaining and managing millennial employees is a vexing problem for many tourism marketing organizations. Presenter: Marti Gimmick, Founder and CEO, International Connector, which manages a community of 150,000 millennials.

Lunch (location TBA)

Vendor-less. A facilitated two-hour discussion (without vendors) in which each participant will discuss the primary problems facing DMOs and attractions:

  • How to stem the loss of web traffic due to Google algorithm changes
  • What new digital tools have you found most useful?
  • Who are your favorite new vendors and why?

Special Reception (TBA)


October 18, 2017: CONCURRENT TRACKS


9:00-10:00 am: What’s Your Content Marketing Strategy for 2018? A panel of experts TBA.

  • What’s Your Video Strategy for 2018?
  • How will You be Using Influencers for 2018?
  • What is Your Facebook/Instagram Strategy for 2018?

10:00-11:00 am: DMO Case Studies

  • Where Does San Francisco Travel Source their “How To” Videos? It starts with the most frequently asked questions at their visitor’s center. Presenter: Dan Rosenbaum, Senior Manager, Content and Social Media Marketing, San Francisco Travel Association
  • Make a Spectacle of Yourself: Montgomery County, PA is first to build an entire campaign around videos generated from Snapchat “Spectacles”. Presenter: Ed Harris, VP Marketing and Communications, Valley Forge CVB
  • Amelia Island’s New Co-Op Model: Partnering with a cooking school delivers great PR and ROI while leaving everyone with a good taste in their mouths. Presenter: Ktimene Axetell, Director, Digital Strategy, Amelia Island CVB

11:00-11:20 am: Morning Break

11:20 am – 12:00 pm: Snapchat vs Instagram Stories vs FB Live vs Periscope. Which is more effective for you? Presenter: James Zale, VP Digital Strategy, Visit Philadelphia (i)

12:00- 12:30 pm: 10 Ways to Build an Audience on Instagram. With insanely valuable new features Facebook’s younger sibling is becoming a must. Presenter: TBA

12:30-2:00 pm: Lunch on Own

2:00-2:20 pm: What’s Coming Next for UGC? Automation has provided new way grab the most relevant content for website and marketing amplification. Presenter: Dan Holowack, Founder and CEO, Crowdriff

2:20-3:00 pm: Panel Best Practices for Video Creation and Video Distribution. Presenter: TBA

3:00-3:20 pm: Influencer Marketing Strategies. Social media influencer marketing resides in the no-man’s-land between PR and digital marketing. Presenter: Florian Herrmann, Creative Director, NAJ Content

3:20-3:40 pm: Afternoon Break

3:40-4:30 pm: Show and Tell

  • Lexington, Kentucky’s Latest Video Series was Filmed by Horses. Strap a Go Pro camera to a horse and see life from his perspective. Presenter: Gathan Borden, VP Marketing, Visit Lexington
  • Robotic Fish is Oregon’s Newest Video Star. Travel Oregon introduces 360 video using a talking fish as a tour guide. Presenter: Mo Sherifdeen, Director Integrated Marketing and Publishing, Travel Oregon (i)

4:30-5:30 pm: Mastermind Round Tables Covering Today’s Topics


9:00-10:00 am: Programmatic Buying For Poets. How does it work? What is DMP and What Can it do for you? Presenter: TBA

  • Three Way SEM Campaign Smack Down: Pocono Mountains, PA pits Google vs Bing vs Facebook to see who has the best ROI. Presenter: Brian Bossuyt, Director of Marketing, Pocono Mountains CVB
  • The Attribution Game. Who should get credit for the conversion? Attribution performance metrics. Presenter: Dennis Yu, Chief Technology Officer, Bizmetrics, digital marketing consultant for the NBA Champion Golden State Warriors.

10:00-11:00 am: ROI: Is it like Mixing Your Own Data Cocktail? What combination of Expedia, Adara, Arrivalist, Buxton, Fare Compare, Sojern, Google, Facebook, Destination Analysts, Longwoods, DK Shifflet, TripAdvisor, and Travelzoo is right for you? Presenter: TBA

11:00-11:20 am: Morning Break

11:20 am-12:20 pm: WTF: Welcome to Facebook. Take a deep dive into the newest precision targeting features offered. Presenter:  Adam Gerston, Sr. VP Client Relationships, HYFN (i)

  • How the Latest Remarketing and Retargeting Techniques are Creating Explosive Conversion. Presenter: Brian Matson, Sr. Director Strategy and Education, TwoSix Digital
  • How Many Ways Can You Target Look-Alike Audiences? Facebook, Google, e-mail marketing. Presenter: TBA

12:20-2:00 pm: Lunch on Own

2:00-2:20 pm: Are You Smart Enough to Dumb Down Your Data? Simplifying complex data from spreadsheets to infographics is one way to educate clueless funders. (i.e. city council boards, legislators etc). Presenter: TBA

2:20-2:45 pm: What We Learned from Spending $2 Million on Digital Media. Presenter: Jay Kinghorn, Director of Communications and Digital Strategy, Utah Tourism

2:45-3:20 pm: How We Replace – And Explain to Management – Organic Traffic Lost to Google’s Algorithm Changes. There’s nothing more frustrating than your organic traffic decline, but it’s the natural evolution of search marketing. Find out how your peers have affordably replaced their traffic. Panel moderator: Laszlo Horvath, CEO, ActiveMedia, with panelists TBA

3:20-3:40 pm: Afternoon Break

3:40-4:00 pm: Show and Tell 

  • Visit Austin taps Umbel to capture and enhance consumer data using social media, sweepstakes, web, Wi-Fi hubs and e-mail marketing. Presenter: Katie Cook, Director of Digital Marketing, Visit Austin
  • What is the You-Can-O-Mizer? A new way to present an in-destination itinerary builder featuring attractions and events. Presenter: Richard Tammar, Director of Digital Strategy, Travel Portland
  • Facebook on $1 a Day. Presenter TBA


9:00-9:30 am: How to Take Your Meetings Team Digital. A case study on the challenges Atlanta faced. After two years transitioning their sales department to using a digital approach, they are seeing tremendous results but still have a tie to traditional. Presenter: Mya Surrency, Founder, Digital Edge

9:30-10:00 am: Best Out-of-Market Activations:

  • A Taste of the South: Alabama brings cheesecake vending machine to Times Square. Presenter: Lee Sentell, Director, Alabama Tourism Department
  • Denver rocks the Red Rocks Amphitheatre in downtown Chicago. Presenter: Justin Bresler, VP Marketing, Visit Denver
  • St. Pete/Clearwater Brings SunCHIne to Chicago as they brighten up a dreary day. Presenter: Leroy Bridges, Media and Interactive Director, Visit St. Pete/Clearwater

10:00-10:30 am: Show and Tell – Placing Planners in Their Place: St.Pete/Clearwater’s video allows meeting planners to view the top 12 meeting sites in town in VR while actual meetings are in progress. Presenter: Leroy Bridges, Media and Interactive Director, Visit St. Pete/Clearwater

10:30-11:00 am: Getting Partners to Share Your Messaging. How can a destination motivate hotels, restaurants and attractions to use their hashtag, engage on social, establish robust social media channels by holding a workshop to show them the benefits? Presenter: Laura Chmielewski, VP Marketing and Communications, Team San Jose


2:00-2:40 pm: Future of Website Design.  Moderator: Richard Tammar, Director of Digital Strategy, Travel Portland; Alex Heimann, Chief Strategy Office, Tempest Interactive; Stephen Landau, Creative Director, The Forest For The Trees Interactive Ltd.

2:40-3:00 pm: Will We Need Websites in 2022? A panel of three web design experts discuss the future of web design as well as the future of websites themselves. Presenter: TBA

3:00-3:20 pm: Afternoon Break

3:20-5:00 pm: Attractions Town Hall Meeting. (By Invitation Only) A panel of attraction marketers will lead an open Town Hall style discussion about digital marketing and ticketing issues. Moderator: Jason Hackett, CEO, Brier Katama. Panelists: TBA


October 19, 2017: GENERAL SESSION

9:00-9:20 am: Hey, Let’s Start Our Own Apple TV Network: Fort Lauderdale launches 24/7 programming on their own Apple TV channel. Presenter: Kim Butler, VP Marketing and Communications, Fort Lauderdale CVB (i)

9:20-9:40 am: It’s Nothing Personal. Ok, It is. Personalization tactics for your website, your e-mail and your advertising campaigns. Presenter: Matt Peters, Founder, Pandemic Labs (i)

9:40-10:00 am: What To Do When You’ve Accumulated Over 2 Million Minutes of Video: If you’re Seattle, you open your own YouTube channel. Presenter: Ali Daniels, VP Marketing, Visit Seattle (i)

10:00-10:20 am: Should You Be a Digital Marketing Agency For Stakeholders? When Ft. Worth CVB started to offer digital marketing services for events, no one knew where it might lead. Presenter: Mitch Whitten, VP Marketing, Visit Fort Worth

10:20-10:45 am: Morning Break

10:45-11:00 am: How One State Opened Their Own Rural Product Development Studio: They came, they saw, they identified tourism product and then helped rural destinations promote it through digital marketing. Presenter: Mo Sherifdeen, Director Integrated Marketing and Publishing, Travel Oregon (i)

11:00-11:20 am: How Can an EEG Machine Save You From Having Your Latest Campaign? Will strapping someone to an EEG headset, which tracks brainwaves and measures emotional reaction to ads, website or video create more effective websites and campaigns? Presenters: Jay Kinghorn, Director of Communications and Digital Strategy, Utah Office of Tourism and Dale Jolley, Director, UVU Vivint Neuromarketing SMARTLab and Professor of Marketing at Utah Valley University.

11:20 am – 12:30 pm: What’s it Like Engaging in Marketing Deals with Unconventional Partners?

  • Uber: Kristin Thayer, Partnerships, Uber (i); Leroy Bridges, Media and Interactive Director, Visit St. Pete/Clearwater
  • Buzzfeed: Jason Nadel, Manager, Client Services, Buzzfeed (i); TBA, Williamsburg Chamber of Commerce
  • Thrillist: Bill Karz, Vice President, Digital Marketing, Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board (i)
  • The Onion: Ashley Rae Harris, Manager, Content Distribution, The Onion; Mo Sherifdeen, Director Integrated Marketing and Publishing, Travel Oregon (i)
  • Chefsfeed: Sandy Shanman, COO, ChefsfeedRobin McClain, VP Marketing and Communications, Destination DC

12:30-2:00 pm: Luncheon Presenting Sponsor: “Scientific Proof: Planning a Vacation is More Satisfying Than the Vacation Itself.” The anticipation stage, as it turns out, is a receptive environment for marketing messages. Presenter: Monya Mandich, Sr. Director Marketing and PR, Expedia Media Solutions

2:00-2:20 pm: Are We Ready for AI and in What Form? The question is: Do you have the reams of data it takes to support artificial intelligence. Presenter: Mo Parikh, Founder, Bandwango (i)

2:20-3:00 pm: What Assets Will You Need to Get You Through 2019? What assets and toolkits should you invest in to sustain you for the next two years? Presenter: TBA

3:00-3:20 pm: Looking for a New (and Affordable) Source for Video Creators? Try the Local Film Schools: Working with local university film departments has worked for several tourism marketers as they provide a storytelling ethos with professional production and editing technique.
In-House vs Outsource: Video Production; Social Media Marketing, e-Mail Marketing. Presenter: TBA

3:20-3:40 pm: Afternoon Break

3:40-4:00 pm: It’s Google’s World, We just Live in it:  What does Google see for the future and how will the DMO and Attractions industry be able to take advantage of. Also, what will Google’s purchase of Deepmind, an AI provider, mean for tourism marketers. Presenter: Kyle Duffy, Head of Travel, Google

4:00-5:00 pm: Bright Shiny New Objects Shark Tank.


  • Sandy Shanman, COO, Chefsfeed
  • Gonzalo Juarez, Founder, eTips
  • Jeffrey Weibel, Chief Marketing Officer, Flip.to
  • Jonathan Ramirez, Senior Sales Director, Umbel
  • Dale Jolley, Director, UVU Neuroscience SMARTLab